I tend to make a whole roasted chicken about once a week either to eat as the actual meal or just to use the meat in another dish. I had made my Ultimate Proposal Roasted Chicken for us however we didn’t finish it all. There wasn’t quite enough left for a meal for him (let alone a snack) and I wasn’t in the mood for just pieces of chicken.
At the same time I had a few potatoes I had to use up as they were just on the verge of being too soft and you know me, I hate wasting food. As I was looking through my recipe I came across my recipe for my potato croquettes and thought I’d revamp them and turn them into a new recipe, Crispy Baked Chicken Croquettes. Croquettes are something my Dad always made using leftovers when we were growing up.
It’s a great way to use up what’s left in the fridge and turn the same old ingredients into something new and exciting. A croquette is a small patty made from meat, potatoes, or vegetables. These ingredients are mixed together, then coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried to create a golden, crunchy outer shell. While the croquette can serve as both a snack and a full meal, it’s most widely prized for its portability, which makes it a popular convenience food. The name croquette is likely derived from the French verb croquer, which means to crunch.
However, in my household, they were crispy little pieces of heaven filled with whatever meat leftovers we had. Sometimes they were filled with shredded beef, potatoes, carrots, onion, and very, VERY thick gravy to act as the glue. Others would be made with leftover turkey, green bean casserole, stuffing, and maybe corn. Heck, I’ve ever had them during Lent with tuna, macaroni and cheese, green peas, and just a bit of mashed potatoes. THOSE, while they sound weird, are AWESOME!!!
So there I was, standing in my kitchen with a container of leftover chicken, potatoes that I had to use up trying to figure out how to make them. Since I really don’t like to fry stuff I wanted to figure out a way to make these baked that came out super crispy like the fried ones but without all the guilt. While I gave that some thought I boiled the potatoes and let them drain. I didn’t want just potatoes and chicken I opted to go with some chopped shallots though a sweet yellow onion would work nicely in this.
Now you could easily use leftover mashed potatoes but I didn’t have any on hand so I had to make some new boiled ones. For me I took a hand masher to these (or you can use a fork) and mashed them down to a creamier texture but with some chunks. That’s just how I like my taters. As Mama used to say “She likes her taters with some meat on ’em” meaning I like chunky mashed potatoes. LOL
Once I got them to the consistency I wanted I added in the chicken, shallots, and seasoning. As I mixed I found the mixture to be too thick so I added in an egg and mixed away. To help them hold their shape I covered the mixture and put it in the fridge for a few hours as they are easier to shape (and hold their shape) when cold.
Now I may or may not have tried the mixture prior to putting it in the fridge. Yes, I know it had a raw egg in it but I’m brave and tried it anyway, This for me is when I could adjust my seasonings. If you’re fearful of the raw egg I suggest trying the mixture BEFORE you put the egg in then adjust your seasonings.
My goal for these was to make them 2 ways – regular and gluten-free. I’ve shown you how to make regular panko breadcrumbs and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs. That’s the only difference in the recipe. To make gluten-free breadcrumbs, just use the same recipe as my gluten-free panko ones and grind them a little finer. Easy Peasy!
So while I formed them, coated them, and eventually popped them in the oven I had to figure out some type of dipping sauce for these. Ketchup or marinara would just be funky. Ranch, while I love ranch, I’m thinking no. For me, the perfect sauce was the leftover gravy from my Proposal chicken. Literally, all I did was heat that up and let it re-thicken. No more spices, nuffin. Again, re-purpose what you have!
When they came out of the oven they were done but not quite the crispy color I was looking for. A few minutes under the broiler was all they needed to not only give them the color but that extra crunch!
Well like clockwork Mr. Impeccable timing came out to the kitchen looking for some food when he spied these. I got a “Hey, those look awesome are they made with that funky stuff you had in the bowl?” *sigh* funky stuff… Lord give me strength!
I plated a few for us to try and told him to watch as they were super hot on the inside and that it’s best to cut one in half and let it cool down for a minute. That bandaids do not stick inside your mouth (trust me, I know this to be true.. don’t ask!). And of course, he didn’t listen. Do they ever??? Both pieces of his went back down on the plate and up came the glass of milk to cool his mouth. I took his plate away which is like dancing with death. The look I got was lethal. I said, “If you’re not going to listen, you’re not getting any until they cool down.” I was provided an inaudible grumble and then finally a ‘FINE’ response.
Now in his world, I must have made him wait 47 hours to eat one when in reality it was a minute, 2 max.
I told him he could dip but I needed to try them plain first then the dip. He offered to do both which meant in his mind he got multiple platefuls to test. Without the dipping sauce, they are awesome. The crust is so crispy and crunchy and as you bite down you’re met with such an amazing creaminess filled with chicken, potatoes, and shallots. I ate 2 of them plain as I forgot about the sauce. He ate 4 and could care less about a sauce.
To make it easier on us I took a spoon and just put a dollop of it on the ends (again we weren’t sure if it would go with it or not so why waste the croquette, right?). That sauce combined with this croquette took it from awesome to AWESOMETASTIC! I mean WOW! It added a whole new layer of texture and flavor to these.
An entire plate later and these were devoured. I mean DEVOURED! Thankfully I set aside some for the photo shoot otherwise I’d have to make a chicken again just to have leftover chicken. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all but I didn’t have another chicken in my freezer.
These are definite keepers and ones that I will revamp numerous times over so be prepared for new adaptations of these! Feel free to share your ways to tweak this using other meats/fillings. I’d love to hear about them! With football season here with us now, these are PERFECT for your buffet table! They are finger foods, you can mix up the fillings AND it’s the best way to clean out your fridge without having to pitch stuff!Print
- 2 cups cooked potatoes (boiled) and cooled
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup milk or chicken stock, warmed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon shallots, minced
- 2 teaspoon parsley, divided
- 1/2 cup Panko or Gluten Free Panko
- 1/2 cup unseasoned (gluten-free or regular) bread crumbs *See note on how to make gluten-free bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs, divided
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 1/2 cups cooked leftover chicken, chopped small (I recommend roasted chicken. Do not just use boiled chicken as that doesn’t have enough flavor)
- Olive oil
- Pan gravy from roasted chicken for dipping
- In a bowl place the potatoes, butter, milk, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon parsley. Mash to desired consistency – I left some chunks. I would not make it super creamy as you want to texture. To the potatoes add the chicken and shallots; stir to combine. Next, add in 1 egg and 1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs. Mix to combine. The mixture should be sticky but not runny.
- Cover and chill for at least 1-2 hours. You want it to be cold so you can form it.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450F with a rack in the middle. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray.
- In a pie plate beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. In a second pie plate add in the panko and remaining unseasoned bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon parsley; mix to combine. Make an assembly line starting with the croquette mixture, egg and then breadcrumbs with the baking sheet at the end.
- Measure 1/4 cup of the mixture and form into croquettes (long cylinders about 2” or you can make into balls).
- Dip, coating all sides, in the egg mixture. Place in the breadcrumbs and coat evenly. Place on the baking sheet and repeat making the rest of the croquettes. Generously spray (or lightly drizzle) olive oil on the croquettes. Do not soak them but you should be able to see the oil glisten on the breadcrumbs. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Place the oven to broil and broil for 2-3 minutes on each side to get super crunchy. *To flip gently use tongs along the long side of the croquettes and flip. Remove from the oven and serve with pan gravy from the leftover roasted chicken as a dipping sauce.
To make Gluten Free Breadcrumbs, follow my recipe on how to make Gluten Free Panko breadcrumbs but instead of only pulsing 10-12 times, pulse 13-18 times. You don’t a powder but you want it smaller than panko size.